A blind or blind bet is a forced bet placed into the pot by one or more players before the deal begins, in a way that simulates bets made during play. The most common use of blinds as a betting structure calls for two blinds: the player after the dealer blinds about half of what would be a normal bet, and the next player blinds what would be a whole bet. This two-blind structure, sometimes with antes, is the dominating structure of play for community card poker games such as Texas hold-em. Sometimes only one blind is used often informally as a “price of winning” the previous hand, and sometimes three are used this is sometimes seen in Omaha. In the case of three blinds usually one quarter, one quarter, and half a normal bet amount, the first blind goes “on the button”, that is, is paid by the dealer.
For example, in a $2–4 limit game, the first player to the dealer’s left who, if not for the blinds, would be the first to act posts a small blind of $1, and the next player in turn posts a big blind of $2. After the cards are dealt, play begins with the next player in turn third from the dealer, who must either call $2, raise, or fold. When the betting returns to the player who blinded $1, he must equal the bet facing him toward which he may count his $1, raise, or fold. If there have been no raises when action first gets to the big blind that is, the bet amount facing him is just the amount of the big blind he posted, the big blind has the ability to raise or check. This right to raise called the option occurs only once: if his raise is now called by every player, the first betting round closes as usual.
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Similarly to a missed ante, a missed blind due to the player’s temporary absence i.e. for drinks or a restroom break can be denoted by use of a special button. Upon the player’s return, they must pay the applicable blind to the pot for the next hand they will participate in. The need for this rule is eliminated in casinos that deal in absent players as described above. Also the rule is for temporary absences only; if a player leaves the table permanently, special rules govern the assigning of blinds and button see next subsection.
In some fixed-limit and spread-limit games, especially if three blinds are used, the big blind amount may be less than the normal betting minimum. Players acting after a sub-minimum blind have the right to call the blind as it is, even though it is less than the amount they would be required to bet, or they may raise the amount needed to bring the current bet up to the normal minimum, called completing the bet. For example, a limit game with a $5 minimum bet on the first round might have blinds of $1 and $2. Players acting after the blind may either call the $2, or raise to $5. After the bet is raised to $5, the next raise must be to $10 in accordance with the normal limits.